Walt Whitman: Election Day, November, 1884

Election Day, November, 1884

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show, 'Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor     your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado, Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic     geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing, Nor Oregon's white cones—nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes—nor     Mississippi's stream: —This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name—the still     small voice vibrating—America's choosing day, (The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the     quadriennial choosing,) The stretch of North and South arous'd—sea-board and inland—     Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California, The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict, The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict, Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the     peaceful choice of all, Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross: —Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart     pants, life glows: These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships, Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.